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How to Promote a Podcast: 2022 Ultimate Guide

Updated: May 3, 2022

If you need to know how to promote a podcast, you’re in the right place.

We speak to podcast hosts all the time, and aside from starting a podcast, they all say that marketing is their biggest challenge.

There are currently more than half a million podcasts. They are more popular than ever. According to 2018 data from Edison Research, podcasting continues to grow steadily every year. 44% of Americans say they’ve listened to a podcast, which is up 5% from the previous year. And yet, many podcasts have podfaded (slowed and/or stopped releasing episodes). Why? Because promoting a podcast is hard. Plenty of podcast hosts create exceptional content, but can’t get people to listen, so they move on to other projects.

Our goal is save you from a similar fate.

Below you’ll find a big list of podcast marketing tactics. These will teach you how to promote a podcast.

But before we dive in to the actionable strategies, it’s important you understand these three rules.

Rule #1: Provide Value

The best long-term strategy to promote a podcast is by providing value. Gimmicks and shortcuts may work in the short-term, but they won’t sustain you. Instead of leaping on the latest marketing trend, focus on creating value through strong relationships and quality content.

Rule #2: Focus on Your Audience

It would be great if your podcast appealed to everyone, but that’s probably not the case. Instead of trying to market to all podcast listeners, focus on the ones who get the most value from your show. Over time, take steps to learn as much as you can about that audience so you can design promotions that finds them with the right messaging.

As you learn about your listener, put together an audience persona document. This will aggregate everything you know about your customer so you can refer to it when you craft marketing copy or images. Rule #3: Experiment and Measure

Whenever you take steps to promote a podcast, it’s important to try new things and measure their results. In fact, you should run multiple tests to find the tactics that work. Don’t rely on your “gut feeling.”

For instance, let’s say you decide to answer questions on Quora to drive traffic to your podcast. It would be smart to add tracking code to your links to determine just how much traffic you create. Otherwise you’d never know if that tactic was successful.

How to Promote a Podcast 20 Marketing Tactics

Here’s a big list of strategies to promote a podcast, but they won’t all work for you. You’ll have to find the ones that appeal to your audience.

For instance, posting on social media is usually a staple of podcast promotion plans, but it wouldn’t make sense for a niche audience who doesn’t use social media. In this case, you would want save yourself the hassle and focus on a tactic that would reach them.

1. Release at Least 3 Episodes on Launch Day

If you haven’t launched your podcast yet, create three episodes before you release. Online business coach Pat Flynn recommends posting three to five episodes at launch so new listeners can binge a bit. “I actually received negative reviews from people who had listened to the first episode and were upset that there was only one,” he says.

If you don’t have a few episodes for new listeners to explore, there’s a good chance they won’t become invested and will probably forget about you.

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2. Convert Your Podcast Audio to a YouTube Video

Repurposing your podcast for other platforms is a fantastic way to promote, especially on YouTube. Not only does it give people something to share, it also offers some SEO benefits. Besides, it doesn’t require much work since you’ve already create

To convert an audio file to a video, Google recommends Windows Live Movie Maker for PC users and iMovie for Mac users. Add a stock photo or branded image so viewers won’t think your video is broken. After uploading to YouTube, annotate your video with links to resources and other episodes you mention throughout the show.

Some podcast hosting platforms do this as well for you, all automatically every time you publish a new episode.

3. Submit to Podcast Aggregators and Directories

A podcast aggregator – called a podcatcher – is just an app that plays podcasts. The most well known podcatcher is Apple Podcasts, the default podcast app that comes with iOS. But there are plenty more, including…

Submit your episode to each aggregator after you publish. This will expose you to new audiences who browse those apps.

Furthermore, you’ll want to submit your episodes to the big podcast directories, like…

Check out your full guide on the top podcast directors where you should submit your show.

4. Optimize Your Pages for Search

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing your web pages by targeting keywords your ideal users would search to find you. It’s how you let Google know what your pages are about so the search engine can display those pages when someone searches for your niche.

Unfortunately, Google can’t evaluate audio files, so your podcast episodes won’t affect your search engine rankings. You may have an episode that solves a searcher’s problem perfectly, but they’ll never know about it because Google doesn’t know about it.

One of the best ways to promote your podcast is your own website. Why? Because you control it. Unlike Facebook, Soundcloud, or other platforms, your domain can’t be taken away.

Like a lot of podcasters, you may create a new blog post on your site for each episode. You probably publish a brief introduction to the episode and a few show notes on this page. That’s smart, but take it a step further by filling that page with content. You can do this in a few ways:

  • Write a unique article about the episode’s content. Make sure to be valuable, not just promotional.

  • Transcribe the episode and post every word. Do it yourself or pay someone on Fiverr.

  • Some hybrid of both.

Once there’s content on the page, Google will have something to “grab onto” to learn what it’s about. Then it can direct people to the page when they search for that kind of content.

When you create a page, make sure you optimize it around a keyword people search for to find that kind of content. Put that keyword in the following places:

  • The page’s title (H1)

  • Some of the page’s subheadings (H2, H3, H4, etc.)

  • The ALT attribute of any images (include several)

  • At the beginning and end of the content

  • In the page’s meta description

  • In the page’s <TITLE> tag (if different than the page’s H1)

  • Scattered throughout the content regularly (but don’t sacrifice readability)

5. Prompt Your Listeners to Subscribe and Share

It may seem painfully straightforward, but often people need a call-to-action in order to take a step. Sometimes they don’t know what they’re expected to do.

Ask your listeners to subscribe to your podcast at the beginning and end of each episode. You don’t have to be pushy, but remind them that subscribing is the best way to get notified of new episodes. Be honest and explain that if the podcast grows, you’ll be able to produce better content. Furthermore, come right out and ask them to share your podcast with their friends.

6. Add Links to Your Email Signature

Include links in your email signature to places people can download or listen to your podcast. You should also try including a link or two to your most popular episodes. This tactic doesn’t have the greatest return, but it’s a one-time easy setup.

7. Collect as Many Reviews as Possible

Many listeners rely on the psychological phenomenon of social proof to decide if they’ll give your podcast that first listen. If you have a lot of positive reviews, you’ll get more listeners. This is especially important on iTunes, the largest podcast platform.

So how do you get more reviews? Ask for them! Prompt your listeners for a review in every episode. There’s no need to be sneaky here. Explain that reviews help you grow your listener base, which will provide you with more resources to create awesome content.

Reviews are so important, in fact, that they’re worth spending money on. You shouldn’t buy reviews, but you can incentivize your fans to leave them.

Run a giveaway contest where fans need to leave a review to enter for the chance to win something free. You don’t have to give away much. Stickers, T-shirts, hats, or any type of swag will do. If you don’t have anything like that, give something generic like an Amazon gift card.

Oh, and once you start getting reviews, read them. Some might include valuable feedback that will help you improve your show.

8. Contact People You Mentioned on Your Show

If you mention a person or brand on your show, reach out to them after you publish. Let them know what you said. Ask if they’d be willing to share your show on social media.

This usually only works if whatever you said was positive.

When we asked some of the hosts we work with how to promote a podcast without investing a lot of time, this was a common recommendation. People you mention on your show are usually more than happy to promote themselves by sharing your show.

7. Leverage Your Guests’ Followings

When we asked our customers how to promote a podcast in the beginning, almost all of them agreed that you have to leverage other people’s followings if you want to get any traction.

If you invite guests on to your show, it’s critical that you squeeze as much promotional value out of their following as possible. You need them to promote the episode to expose your podcast to an entirely new audience.

Your guest will naturally want to share their appearance on your show, but you want them to share a lot. How do you get them to do this? By making things easy for them.

Ask your guests to share, but don’t rely on vague instructions like “Let’s promote each other.” Give them whatever copy, links, images, video, and audio they need. Include detailed instructions so they can promote you well.

For instance, you might send an email to a past guest with pre-written copy to post on their Facebook page, along with a pre-created image, a link to your show, and hashtags. This way the guest can simply paste the copy into Facebook.

9. Refer to Past Episodes

An easy way to promote yourself is to mention old episodes whenever you can. If you mention a topic that you’ve covered in a previous episode, add a quick aside: “If you want to learn more about productivity, check out episode #17 where we spoke to John Doe about managing a busy schedule.”

10. Start an Email Newsletter

Email marketing has the best return on investment out of all the digital marketing channels: 4400% ROI and $44 for every $1 spent. It’s a simple and intimate way to connect with your fans.

11. Visit Other Podcasts as a Guest

You know how movie stars and directors visit the Tonight Show to promote their latest project? They do that because even though they have their own followings, they still want to reach a bigger audience. You can do the same thing by visiting other people’s podcasts.

The trick, of course, is to visit a podcast with an audience that overlaps yours, but this is actually easier than it sounds. It’s difficult to find podcast guests, so hosts are receptive when guests pitch them.

You probably know a few good podcasts that would suit you, but if you need inspiration, check out the iTunes listing page. Sort by category to find a show that’s similar to yours.

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